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by none other than osama bin laden's successor. a shutdown has been extended. 19 american diplomatic embassies in the middle east and africa will remain closed for the rest of this week. chris lawrence is joining us now, he's got more on the threat, the u.s. response. what's the latest? >> reporter: local security teams have installed extra blast walls outside some american embassies and a newly formed quick reaction team of 500 marines is now ready to deploy within four hours from its base in spain. while u.s. officials still don't know if it involves embassies or planes, trains or bases, it's clear why they're telling the americans to take it seriously. the cascade of warnings was triggered by intercepted communication, which is now being revealed as a direct order from al qaeda's leader. cnn has learned he ordered his new deputy in yemen to basically do something and launch an attack. that deputy high on the u.s. target list. along with another yemeni, al qaeda's master bomb maker. >> the threat emanates from and maybe focused on occurring in the arabian peninsula rathe
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obama spent his time while u.s. special operations forces killed osama bin laden. it may surprise you. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." >>> it's been a day of horrific bloodshed and chaos in egypt that began at dawn when troops moved against supporters of the ousted president, mohammed morsi, storming to large camps in cairo. there was teargas, clubs and gunfire as pitched battles broke out. the day ended with streets covered in blood. 278 people are reported dead. 235 civilians, 43 police officers. 1400 people have been wounded. egypt now in an official state of emergency. with cairo and other major cities under curfew. fighting has rage aid cross the country, and the united states, the obama administration, strongly condemning the violence, and warning against a return to emergency law. let's go straight to cairo, cnn's reza sayed was right in the middle of the action. what's the situation like now? >> well right now, wolf, it's eerily calm and quiet and that's because a curfew is in effec
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americans ever heard the name osama bin laden. of course, september 11th is a critical date not only for the 2001 attacks on america but also the deadly attack on the u.s. mission in benghazi, libya, one year ago. the state department says it's closing 21 u.s. embassies and consulates on sunday out of an abundance of caution. one official telling us the shutdown could be extended beyond sunday. here is our senior international correspondent arwa damon. she's outside the american embassy in cairo. >> reporter: behind this wall is one of the roads that leads to the u.s. embassy in cairo. normally the embassy would have been open on a sunday. it is a working day here. it will, however, be closed because of those security concerns. in the past there have been demonstrations here. there have been mobs, angry mobs, who have gathered trying to attack the embassy. september 11th of last year, for example, an incensed crowd, angered over the film that insulted prophet mohammed, tried to attack the embassy and it was the same day we saw that coordinated attack in benghazi against the u.s.
yemen to take action? >> remember how osama bin laden was operating, it could take three weeks. he's issuing general guidance, more higher level guidance and leaving the tactics up to genuine it's. >> you tried to get him when you were head of national intelligence. i assume the u.s. is still trying to get him. why is it so hard to get ayman al zawahiri? >> who is that guy in our country, richard jewell, he disappeared in our country. >> the outgoing cia, the deputy director, he gave an interviews to the wall street journal in which he said syria is probably the most important issue in the world today because of where it is currently heading. he's deeply concerned about chemical weapon stockpiles, other weapons in syria getting into the hands of al qaeda and others. is this the biggest national security threat the u.s. faces right now? >> i would say as far as the geopolitical situation, i would agree with mike morel. it's not just the chemical weapon. if you look at the place that syria occupies, the funnel for iranian aid going to hezbollah, so it's a life line for hezbollah,
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